2019-06-14 - Bio Engineered


Koa has an interesting discovery for Jemma

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jun 14 00:00:00 2019
Location: Simmons' Lab - The Triskellian

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SHIELD's subdivisions have varying levels of autonomy and facilities. Some are simple sub teams that are just administrative units of the larger whole. Others, like SWORD and WAND, operate more loosely, with parallel chains of command and in the case of SWORD a completely different facility (in spaaaaace).

But at the end of the day they are still one big happy, secretive, incredibly paranoid family. Which means when Koa needs something biological analyzed, he brings it down to the labs.

There is basically one person to see if you want something weird sorted out. And that's Jemma Simmons. Which is why Koa is stepping inside the lab and knocking on the door frame as he does. In his right hand there is what looks like an egg, though it's the size of his hand and definitely not the kind of thing you'd scramble for breakfast. It also looks like it's made of stone, or otherwise very old. A fossil of some kind perhaps? Whatever the case, he's got it.

"Doctor Simmons?"

The machinery in Jemma's lab is whirring and humming. She always seems to be conducting some form of research.

At the moment the biochem is examining a molecular structure using the 3D modelling display over her work bench. There's two structures side by side and they've very similar. Whatever that is, it's making her frown. "Agent Turner, come in."

She turns slightly to smile at him but keeps her eye on that display. "How can I help you today?"

Research is what she does best. And it's kind of her job, so Koa certainly understands that she always seems to have an experiment going on. He walks over to the table nearby and places the egg shaped thing down. It makes a soft kind of 'squishing' sound.

"What do you have there? I need you to look at something for me. I've got an odd find from an Archeological dig out in Siberia that we had to bring in. It's of a nature of interest to me but I don't have the expertise to say exactly what it is."

Which means he needs her to look at it and tell him. Or at least tell him what it isn't. That's just about as valuable.

The egg gets a curious look and Jemma starts pulling on gloves and reaching for her safety glasses. "What have you here?" She says. Unsurprisingly, she's curious.

"Hmmm. Oh that's the scans of that piece of metal you retrieved from the gala and a scan from something we recovered from A.I.M recently." That they're that similarly is interesting to say the least.

"Siberia? Tell me more." She's already turning the 'egg' over to inspect it. Looking for markings or other such things.

"There's a dig up in Central Siberia that uncovered a civilization called the Daevites. They're… odd. WAND is keeping an eye on that site and all such other digsites. They tend to produce a lot of really weird artifacts. Like this one."

When Jemma picks it up he points out a couple of things on it. "It's clearly organic. And also it doesn't match any known type of egg from this period or from about nine thousand years ago, when the dig site is dated. It's clearly… still alive in some fashion. Though I don't know if it's viable in any way."

It's pulsating in her hand. Softly. There are marking on it. Strange whorls and similar patterns. It's warm, but only slightly. Barely above room temperature.

"What are Daevites?" Jemma asks, slightly distracted as she turns the egg over to examine it. Placing the egg under the microscope to get a good look at the patterns and to scan them. Then she'll be able to run a search and see what they mean.

"It feels alive, I'll give you that much, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is."

"Is there anything I should know before I put it through my mass spec and other scanners? Are Daevite artifacts known to react poorly?"

"We haven't ever studied one like this up close. That one's pretty unique. So I don't know what the dangers might be. You'll want to take at least some precautions. Your spectrometer has a sealed box, right?" Koa clearly doesn't think it's THAT dangerous or he wouldn't have walked in just holding it but the fact of the matter is he has no idea what it might do, nor what it was intended to do.

"If you have some way to look at it's genetic profile I'd be definitely interested in that. If it's organic, I kind of what to know what kind of organic."

She's right. It might not be alive. Koa… kind of hopes it isn't.

The scans come through and start searching in the computer. She gets several hits on 'Daevite' mostly from other WAND projects. The nearest non Daevite hit is something from the Indus River Valley Civilization. It's… OLD. Very Old.

"Daevites? They're a rather advanced civilization from prehistory that has displayed some anomalous… properties. And they might be connected to a rather powerful magical artifact in WAND custody. Well, partly in WAND custody."

"Alright. Well let's scan this first and see if we can see what's inside. That it's room temperature is interesting. Most organic things of this nature need to be warmer but I'm not making any assumptions." Into the scanner it goes and the machine starts humming. "Can you look at those results of the scan and see if any of the symbols mean anything to you?"

Once the scan is done, Jemma will absolutely do the genetic profile. That requires a small sample that can be tested.

"What artifact?" That gets her attention. Jemma's dealt with a number of things with WAND in the past.

"A book. A book that… we think, has the ability to alter the past in a very specific way. It's… incredibly dangerous because messing with the past too much could affect things here as well." And there's a concern that the past created in the book could catch up with the present in some very nasty ways.

"It's a bit involved. We think the book created the Daevite civilization. But it is now quite real, or at least was until about twenty five hundred years ago." Which is… less time to play with than a lot of people would like. This is why the book is locked up.

"The Daevite ones I've seen before but they're untranslated. This symbol, though, was the symbol for 'River' to the Indus. It's an important one as you might imagine. It was synonymous with crops and life, but also flooding and disaster. A lot like Egypt, actually…"

The results of the scan are… interesting. It's presenting like organic material but there's clearly elements of iron, silver, platinum and a couple of other rare earths woven into it at a molecular level. So organic, but very unlike any other kind of organic material she will have seen. Otherwise it's definitely based in animal biology, not plant.

"A book that created a society? Oh my. That sounds fascinating but the implications on time are astounding." Jemma murmurs.

"River hmmm. Can you see this profile, Agent Turner?" Jemma swipes her own 3D model aside to bring up the one for the egg. She gestures and it turns, as she starts to point out the interesting bits.

"This here …" she zooms in on a section "is a rare earth but see how they're all bonding together, I've never seen anything like it." beat "It is organic though and animal. I wonder what's inside. Maybe it's a dragon and we need to super heat it."

Someones a fan of a tv show.

"I want to ultrasound it, but I'm not sure we'll get anything."

"Sure. And again I do suggest we try a DNA analysis…" Koa says as Jemma moves the 'egg' to her ultrasound. He peers at the readout and yes. It is rather odd. He understands that. What they haven't gotten to yet is why. Though he is starting to suspect he knows the answer.

The ultrasound of the egg does reveal that portions of it are hollow. There's a whole network of something inside. It doesn't look like there's anything gestating in it. It looks more like… an organically grown container or device for something. Some of the chambers could be heart-pump equivalents. One leads to what looks like an orifice near the top. There is some liquid in it though of course it's not clear what from the ultrasound.

There's also several fine planes. Things that suggest splitting or shearing. Is it possilbe that this thing can… unfold?

"All in good time, Agent Turner. It's running, I started that just after I did the scan." Jemma answers and finishes the ultrasound. "These things don't happen immediately you know, despite what you see on Bones or one of those shows."

She's teasing a little as she turns the scan around. "I wonder if this is a vessel as opposed to a gestation chamber. It's odd."

The results for the DNA scan show up just as they're conjecturing and Jemma brings them to the forefront.

It might well be. Koa looks up at the internal map of the thing they're observing. Its complex in ways he doesn't entirely like. And yes. He sees some odd things. And if he taps some controls to make it unfold long those lines…

It turns into something that looks a bit like a cross between an iguana and a gun.

"Okay…" He mutters as the DNA comes up. The results will mean a lot to Jemma and much less to Koa but the big finding is blinking in big letters at the top of the profile. 'No Known Match'.

What Jemma can see that Koa can't is that this bears the hallmarks of something that was engineered. And he said that it belonged to a civilization that was nine thousand years old.

"Well. That's not good, is it?"

"What the hell is that… " Jemma blinks as Koa unfolds the box. Her attention is quickly drawn though. She's silent as she examines the results that are flashing on her screen, probably just as Koa is examining that device.

"We have no trace of this in our database, Agent Turner. It's engineered, bio-engineered, by a civilization that is … as old as time. It seems."

"I don't know what it is. I've never seen anything like it before. Off the top of my head it looks kind of like a weapon, though." Koa says. No trace in their database. Koa's face makes an unhappy line.

"This is… bad. The artifact, the book, said that the Daevites were 'shapers of flesh' and strongly implies that they had magic or something similar to allow them to do so. But I've NEVER seen magic that allows someone to create or modify life on a genetic level. If I'm reading your screen correctly this creature was grown for its purpose, specifically."

And it's still sort of a live. Not very alive, but 'functional' probably.

"I'm going to need you to examine this… more thoroughly. It doesn't have to be now. But we need to know if artifacts like this pose a danger to the workers, or the world at large. The last thing we need to do is unleash a plague of millennia old genetic weapons."

"It does, yes, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions, Agent Turner." Jemma answers. "Maybe it wasn't magic they used but bio-chemistry. Maybe they were just technologically advanced? This was grown, of that I'm sure and I'd love to know how. I mean, we've theorised about this for a while but it's just a theory, nothing concrete."

Because of course she would.

"I think you should assume they pose a danger, Agent Turner but I'll look into this. As soon as I return from my next mission." She's a couple of things that she needs to see to.

"It could indeed be that they were very technologically advanced. Their cities bear out at least a certain level of science that was otherwise unknown at that period of time. But how they came by that knowledge is still something of a mystery."

He shakes his head. She's right. Nothing concrete. And it does bear some looking into.

"Right well it's not pressing but when you have time. Good luck on that mission." SHIELD Missions often merit a wish of good look. A lot can go wrong. Very quickly.

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